The azaleas outside my office window have begun to bloom. Spring has arrived. Spring is my favorite season because it signifies hope, which has become the bedrock theme of my life. Several years ago, I decided that I wanted "She gave others hope" on my tombstone. I mentioned that recently while working with a business coach on a new program I am launching called "Team Building for Dream Building," to help organizations build teams in which everyone can "accomplish their work and enjoy their lives."

My coach asked the question, "Why? Why is giving other people hope so important to you? That is your "what," but it's not your "why." At first, I was disappointed to hear her say that, but after further discussion, she helped me realize that hope is so important to me because I spent so much of my life feeling hopeless.

As a child, we frequently sang the old hymn "My Hope is Built on Nothing Less" and the words continue...

Than Jesus' blood and righteousness

I dare not trust the sweetest frame

But wholly lean on Jesus' name

On Christ the solid rock I stand

All other ground is sinking sand

When He shall come with trumpet sound

Oh may I then in Him be found

Dressed in his righteousness alone

Faultless to stand before the throne

On Christ the solid rock I stand

All other ground is sinking sand.

Even though I knew that song well, I ended up in a hospital for depression in my 40s because I didn't believe it. Once again, I faced the question, "Why?" My answer was simple, "It's too good to be true." But today, I am confident in that hope.

While I am happy to share the hope I have in Jesus, which makes me the happiest I have ever been in my life, I am not prepared to argue that you have to agree with me. But I am prepared to argue that being happy requires hope in something! Teen suicide rates have skyrocketed since Covid, and research reveals that the primary reason is that those teens feel no hope.

My license plate says HOPEFOOL. When people ask about it, I reply that my ultimate hope is in Jesus, and as my business partner Andrea Anderson put it so brilliantly, HOPE stands for Help Others Pursue Entrepreneurship, which is the passion of Productive Environment Institute.

Author's Bio: 

In 1978, Barbara took out a $7 ad in a New York City newspaper to advertise her professional organizer business. For 20 years, she focused her business on organizing paper and physical clutter for home offices and organizations. Then the Internet Age came about, and she utilized her principles and expertise to help clients with digital clutter.

Over the past 40+ years Barbara has helped 1000's of companies, and became an icon and top expert in the industry. She has been featured on national media platforms such as Good Morning America, The Today Show and CNN Nightly News. She has also been showcased in publications including USA Today, New York Times, Fast Company, Reader’s Digest, Real Simple and Guideposts.

Barbara and her team teach business owners a 9-step system to go from overwhelmed to optimized. Step 1 is a free Assessment that can be found at